Petaluma: Attempted Bank Robbery?

Back Story…

In Are You Being Robbed As You Read This? I offered several tips on how to monitor suspicious activity on your credit cards and checking accounts.

One point in particular from that article needs to be restated: “Monitor your credit card bills and bank statements closely. If there are any suspicious charges or debits, contact your bank or credit card company immediately.”

While the purpose of this warning was to focus on third-party charges  to your bank accounts or credit cards, it also applies to sudden or unexplained charges by your bank. 

Case in Point…

We recently added an automatic savings feature to our checking account at our bank–a very large bank whose name shall not be disclosed.  We have had accounts with them since 1985.

  • In going through the process of setting up the automatic savings account, we repeatedly stressed that we were not willing to pay any fees for the privilege of depositing money with them. 
  • We were repeatedly assured there would be no fees–a good thing, considering that the savings interest rates these days are essentially zero.

All went well until the second month when the bank statement listed a $25 monthly fee on the savings account.  To be fair, the statement did show that they paid us interest of 11 cents…thus reducing our “loss” to $24.89.

To make a long story short, we visited a branch office  and a bank officer immediately reversed the $25 fee stating that the person who created the account must have “pushed the wrong button” while setting it up.

Fair enough. Mistakes happen.

However, I can’t help but wonder…

  • How many times has this happened and the account holder did not catch it on the monthly statement?
  • How many “senior citizens” have been caught by such mistakes?
  • Why would a  bank have a system that allowed the charging of a $25 monthly fee on savings accounts that currently pay .o5% interest?
  • Is the bank secretly counting on people being  unaware enough to sign up for a savings account that charges a fee? Such customers would be better off stuffing their money in their shoes!

Readers can offer their own answers to these questions–particularly the last two.



11 thoughts on “Petaluma: Attempted Bank Robbery?

  1. Having recently pre-paid hotel rooms for discount rates for visiting relatives I was appalled when they were almost routinely charged duplicate bills upon departure. What has happened to quality control? It is ridiculous. It has come to the point where we’d be fools not to double, triple check every single bill and statement from banks, utilities, hotels.

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  3. I recently got a note from my bank that addressed insufficent funds. I had to call them and ask if that was me or them!

    • HAAAH!! Now that is a thought. LOL These days it may be safer to stuff it in your mattress–assuming one has a mattress and anything to stuff in it :-)!

  4. I am having an interesting experience with Chase Card Services. Last month when I received a bill for someone else at my address, I called Chase and was transferred to Fraud, and was assured by “Alicia” that it would be straightened out. It happened again today; I called; talked to John and Jim before my call was dropped; called back and Mary Ann in Securities told me the only I can stop it is to watch for the next bill — DO NOT OPEN — write on front of envelope “refused, return to sender, addressee not at this address.” How did their mistake / my frustration become my responsibility?

  5. Frank, the answer to all your queries about this “unfortunate mistake” is “why do you think it would happen?”

  6. Yep.. Same goes with Hospital Bills and even Doctor Bills after my getting On Medicare..

    charging me $5 for an Asprin?
    $25 for a ‘Toothbrush Kit’..
    and $35 for a Flu Shot that WalGreens sells for $25..

    They told me? Oh, what do you care, medicare pays for it..

    Fox incharge of the Henhouse ..

  7. We have been banking with Natwest for about 3 years now, and we have only been able to get hold of a business manager a couple of times. In fact apart from charging for the use of the accounts, there is isn’t much service they provide to my business. It is also quite hard to get anyone to deal with issues – so this might just as well have been an internet banking account. I wouldn’t recommend Natwest Business Account to anyone.

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